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Muddy Creek Targeted Watershed Initiative: Strategic AMD Restoration Rick Herd, Jennifer Fulton and Paul Ziemkiewicz West Virginia Water Research Institute.

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Presentation on theme: "Muddy Creek Targeted Watershed Initiative: Strategic AMD Restoration Rick Herd, Jennifer Fulton and Paul Ziemkiewicz West Virginia Water Research Institute."— Presentation transcript:

1 Muddy Creek Targeted Watershed Initiative: Strategic AMD Restoration Rick Herd, Jennifer Fulton and Paul Ziemkiewicz West Virginia Water Research Institute WV Mine Drainage Task Force Symposium April 10, 2007

2 Overview Targeted Watershed Grant Objectives Background Technical Approach Implications

3 EPA Targeted Watershed Grants Program Purpose- encourages innovative solutions to achieving measurable water quality improvements at watershed scale Objective- to restore and preserve water resources through strategic planning and coordinated project management that draw in public and private sector partners Goal- advance successful partnerships and coalitions to implement technically sound watershed restoration/protection plans

4 Partners Friends of the Cheat River of Promise WVDEP Special Rec and AML OSM WVU--NMLRC and Watershed Technical Assistance Center (WTAC)

5 Implementation of the Watershed Based Plan for AMD Remediation in the Cheat River Watershed, WV Primary objective- restore 27 stream miles ( six 303(d) listings) in Muddy Creek and Lower Cheat Watersheds Secondary objective- evaluate and compare the efficacy (cost and ecological benefit) of four approaches for remediating AMD: Passive at-source Active at-source Active in-stream Combination of above (hybrid)

6 What We Know About Passive At-Source AMD Treatment (Traditional Approach) Significant number of diffuse and spatially distributed sources Landowner access agreements difficult and sometimes impossible to obtain Individual access roads can be costly long-term effectiveness of passive technologies uncertain It will take much longer and cost much more to restore water quality with passive at-source treatment alone

7 What We know About Active In-Stream AMD Treatment Achieves an economy of scale producing greater benefits, more quickly at less cost In more stream miles (Ziemkiewicz, 2006) Reduces risk by Increasing performance certainty Sacrifices some amount of stream habitat Requires long term O&M Compatible with EPAs Watershed Approach

8 Strategic Approach to Watershed Restoration Integrate chemical, biological and habitat data into GIS watershed modeling framework Quantify the ecological value (EUs) in terms of historic, current and recoverable Iterate location and type of least cost projects to maximize benefits (link EU recovery) Design and implement projects Monitor and assess outcome Adapt and modify if necessary

9 EcoUnit Concept = a quantitative measurement of the structural/functional ecological value of a stream (length or surface area). ***scalable from stream segment to whole watershed ***decision making currency Examples: Coldwater Fishery EcoUnit Warmwater Fishery EcoUnit Organic Matter Processing EcoUnit. Biological Diversity EcoUnit Applications: Strategic Watershed Restoration Development of Mitigation Offset Credits Development of Water Quality Trading Credits

10 EU Applications Petty, J. T., and D. Thorne. 2005. An ecologically based approach to identifying restoration priorities in an acid-impacted watershed. Restoration Ecology 13:348-357. Developed a coldwater fishery EU to conduct a cost:benefit analysis of various limestone sand remediation alternatives in the upper Shavers Fork watershed. Merovich, G. T., Jr., and J. T. Petty. 2007. Interactive effects of multiple stressors and restoration priorities in a mined Appalachian watershed. Hydrobiologia 575:13-31. Developed an invertebrate diversity EU to assess the benefits of AMD treatment as an alternative offset to impacts from thermal effluent to the Cheat River mainstem. Poplar-Jeffers, I. and J. T. Petty. 2007. Culvert replacement and stream restoration: application to brook trout management in an Appalachian watershed. Restoration Ecology (IN PRESS). Applied the coldwater fishery EU to identify culvert replacement priorities and assess the benefits of culvert replacement as a form of mitigation for road related impacts to streams.

11 General Equations for EU Calculation EU=Stream Surface Area (ac) X Observed WVSCI/Max WVSCI Coldwater EU = fn (drainage area, elevation, canopy cover, habitat quality, water quality) Warmwater EU = fn (drainage area, gradient, water quality)

12 Muddy Creek AML and BF sites

13 EU Loss Within the Targeted Watershed Area

14 Historic, Current, Lost, and Recoverable EcoUnits in each 12-Digit HUC subwatersheds of the lower Cheat River. HUC 12 ID HUC 12 MI Historic EUs Current EUs Lost EUs Recoverable EUs REU Density % EU Loss % Recoverable Muddy13372175197690.85335 Greens1312475566925526.75580 Pringle1213429344071911.43047 Bull126213133091922.65062 Beaver106472094382051.46847 MBSan9527333193220.23711 LBSan87114532581641.43664 LCheat5234514978498034.53695 Roaring4100569031425121.93180 UBSan23413093140.0913 Saltlick0682 000.00NA Total-94806150368824531.83666

15 EcoUnit Recovery Under Various Restoration Alternatives in the Upper Shavers Fork of the Cheat River

16 Summary Traditional AMD restoration is expensive and time consuming; outcomes uncertain A holistic science-based strategic watershed approach produces greater benefits more quickly at less cost and risk Anticipated Outcome- inform future AMD restoration policy and demonstrate a currency for mitigation/WQ trading credits

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